NASCAR Sprint Unlimited: Kevin Harvick avoids crash and sets pace
|Saturday, February 16th 2013, 07:53 GMT|
Kevin Harvick dodged a multi-car accident to set the fastest time in NASCAR's first practice session of the year at Daytona.
The Sprint Cup season officially began on Friday evening with two sessions for the drivers involved in Saturday night's Sprint Unlimited non-championship race.
Within minutes of the green flag, contact between Matt Kenseth's Joe Gibbs Toyota and Kurt Busch's Furniture Row Chevrolet triggered a five-car pile-up.
Carl Edwards, Juan Pablo Montoya and Mark Martin were also collected. Martin, Edwards and Busch all now need to use back-up cars for Saturday's race.
Kenseth accepted responsibility for the crash.
"That was 100 per cent my driver error," he said. "I had no idea anybody was there, and he had a run at the same time, and I came down in front of him.
"It doesn't matter what kind of car you're driving, if you drive down in front of somebody, they're going to hit you."
Harvick was running in the same pack but managed to flick between the five crashing cars and emerge unscathed.
The Richard Childress Ford driver set a best time of 45.601 seconds to top the session, 0.011s ahead of Aric Almirola.
Greg Biffle, Kasey Kahne and Martin Truex Jr completed the top five.
Denny Hamlin was fastest in night practice, in which only 12 of the 19 Unlimited drivers chose to participate.
Saturday features the first Daytona 500 practice sessions before the Unlimited race in the evening.
See more pictures from NASCAR's Daytona events in the AUTOSPORT news gallery
Practice one results: Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Kevin Harvick Childress Chevrolet 45.601s 2. Aric Almirola Petty Ford 45.612s + 0.011s 3. Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Ford 45.660s + 0.059s 4. Kasey Kahne Hendrick Chevrolet 45.676s + 0.075s 5. Martin Truex Jr Waltrip Toyota 45.677s + 0.076s 6. Dale Earnhardt Jr Hendrick Chevrolet 45.743s + 0.142s 7. Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet 45.769s + 0.168s 8. Kurt Busch Furniture Row Chevrolet 45.776s + 0.175s 9. Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Toyota 45.831s + 0.230s 10. Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Toyota 45.831s + 0.230s 11. Joey Logano Penske Ford 45.912s + 0.311s 12. Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Toyota 45.922s + 0.321s 13. Mark Martin Waltrip Toyota 45.939s + 0.338s 14. Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Ford 45.960s + 0.359s 15. Jeff Gordon Hendrick Chevrolet 46.145s + 0.544s 16. Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 46.146s + 0.545s 17. Marcos Ambrose Petty Ford 46.298s + 0.697s 18. Terry Labonte FAS Lane Ford 47.138s + 1.537s 19. Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Chevrolet 47.749s + 2.148s Practice two results: Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Toyota 45.906s 2. Joey Logano Penske Ford 45.915s + 0.009s 3. Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Ford 45.999s + 0.093s 4. Kevin Harvick Childress Chevrolet 45.999s + 0.093s 5. Aric Almirola Petty Ford 46.027s + 0.121s 6. Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet 46.492s + 0.586s 7. Kasey Kahne Hendrick Chevrolet 46.628s + 0.722s 8. Marcos Ambrose Petty Ford 46.664s + 0.758s 9. Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Toyota 46.970s + 1.064s 10. Terry Labonte FAS Lane Ford 47.020s + 1.114s 11. Jeff Gordon Hendrick Chevrolet 47.130s + 1.224s 12. Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Chevrolet 47.339s + 1.433s